Milkwood aspires to share permaculture skills and knowledge wide and far. This policy outlines Milkwood’s approach to marketing: our values and how they impact our marketing practices; how we engage with our audience and build new audiences; how we promote our online courses and our commitment to fair share principles and equitable access.
The policy acts as an internal guide for all Milkwood staff, as well as a source of information and commitment to our followers and students.
At Milkwood, our mission has always been to provide first class education, an abundance of free resources and to bring together (and importantly, acknowledge) the most experienced and skilled people we can, to inform our learning and to grow permaculture skills together.
We do this in marketing through a commitment to:
Honesty in marketing; Cultural sensitivity and diversity, Equitable access; and Ethical promotion.
Honesty in Marketing
In promoting our online courses and our free resources we commit to absolute honesty in all our marketing campaigns. In particular we pledge to:
- Never use doctored reviews and testimonials – we have extensive testimonials from real students who have willingly provided their profile and consent to publication of their review.
- Never exaggerate impacts of our courses by inflating numbers, cherry-picking data, or focusing on stories that aren’t representative of real overall outcomes.
Always use words that are realistic descriptors of the services or impact we are promoting.
- Never exaggerating the benefits of our courses, promising results or making unrealistic claims about expected results – we focus on skills building and support – the rest is up to you!
- Always sharing stories that we believe have real intentions for good – not purely for the benefits of marketing.
- Never accept payment for promotion of for-sale books, courses, events or any other material without clearly stating our financial association with the seller. On the rare occasion we promote external sales, we will do so only with organisations that align with our ethics and marketing practices.
- Always acknowledge the work and prior knowledge building of students, teachers, community and indigenous custodians as it applies to the stories and skills that are being shared through our campaigns and resources.
Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity
When conceiving and developing our marketing campaigns, we commit to an understanding and sensitivity around cultural differences. In particular we pledge to:
- Never exploit, appropriate, or stereotype underrepresented or historically oppressed people or groups within our marketing content.
- Seek feedback on the appropriateness and sensitivity of marketing content where possible from diverse groups via surveys, focus groups or interviews.
- Read and engage with ongoing research to increase awareness of cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness.
Milkwood is committed to social and cultural diversity, and pledges to:
- Always present a diverse range of stories in the resources that we share across our communications, including newsletters, course resources and on social networks.
- Audit our course and website resources for cultural diversity.
Across our campaigns and resources, we pledge to acknowledge that:
- Permaculture owes the roots of its theory and practice to traditional and Indigenous knowledges, from all over the world. We all stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – as we learn, and re-learn, these skills and concepts. We pay our deepest respects and give our heartfelt thanks to these knowledge-keepers, both past and present.
Milkwood is committed to equitable access in terms of financial barriers as well as barriers through disability. We pledge to:
- Always provide quality free and valuable resources such as how-tos, downloadable PDFs and videos via our website, blog and newsletter.
- Provide discounted course fees to students where financial support is requested, as well as partial and full scholarships to study our online courses. See our full Fair Share Policy for details.
- Provide closed captions on video material within our courses and social media, as well as written captions on our social media channels as much as possible.
- Ensure marketing materials and free resource materials are easily readable, through attention to colour contrasts, text size and clear language.
- Seek ways to improve the accessibility of our website and campaign pages through adherence to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards.
Milkwood is committed to permission-based email marketing:
- When you provide your email to Milkwood for access to free resources, to be notified of our course waiting lists and booking times, or to sign up to our newsletter, subsequent emails you receive will be anticipated and relevant to the material you requested.
- Milkwood will give you the option of opting out of marketing emails but staying on our newsletter mailing list.
- Milkwood will always provide an easy avenue to unsubscribe to any marketing or newsletter emails.
- Events, resources and waiting lists that you signed up to will be recorded on your profile so that emails you receive from us will be relevant to your interests.
- Milkwood will never share your personal data with third parties.
Milkwood is committed to ethical SEO practices:
- We create valuable content that people will want to link to and ensure that our page titles, descriptions and keywords accurately reflect page content.
- We only link to other resources when they are aligned with the content of our page.
- We use redirects to help users find the right content and never to point to content that is unrelated.
- We create helpful, well branded 404 page-not-found pages with useful navigation.
- We make minimal use of pop-up windows and ensure they are easy to close.
- We put the user first, focus on value and create content that aligns with our mission.
Last updated 1-Dec-2022